2017 RASC-AL Competition — Official Announcement

2017 RASC-AL Competition — Official Announcement


On Friday, July 29, 2016, NIA announced the 2017 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Challenge, a university-level design competition that calls for teams of university students to submit robust proposals for new concepts that leverage innovations to improve our ability to work more effectively in microgravity, by responding to one of four themes:

  • A Lightweight Exercise Suite
  • An Airlock Design
  • A Commercially Habitable LEO / Mars Habitable Module
  • A Logistics Delivery System

NIA conducted an intensive and targeted promotional and marketing campaign for the 2017 RASC-AL Competition that included a full service website, electronic and print marketing collateral, and personalized emails to over 2100 targeted engineering deans, department chairs, and faculty.

Based on a review of the abstract and video proposals, due January 19, 2017, and a second down select based on a mid-project review in March, up to sixteen (16) teams will be selected to submit full technical papers and present their concepts to a steering committee of NASA and industry experts at the 2017 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida May 31st – June 2nd, 2017.

The finalists will receive a stipend to facilitate their team’s full participation in the Forum.  The top two winning teams will receive a travel stipend to attend a technical conference, like AIAA Space 2017, to present a condensed version of their technical paper to the scientific and engineering research community.

Full competition details can found on the RASC-AL Website (


The RASC-AL Challenge is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and managed by Shelley Spears and Stacy Dees of the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA).

NIA RASC-AL POC:  Shelley Spears;; 757-325-6732

LaRC RASC-AL POC:  Pat Troutman, Space Mission Analysis Branch,; 757.864.1954



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